The American Jewish University
with its Familian campus in Bel Air, California and Brandeis-Bardin campus in Simi Valley, California, is the outcome of the 2007 union of Brandeis-Bardin Institute (BBI) and the University of Judaism (UJ).
In 1947, the University of Judaism was founded in Los Angeles, the vision of Dr. Mordecai Kaplan, the author of Judaism as a Civilization, who advocated the creation of an educational institution incorporating diverse elements of Jewish civilization and culture under one roof. To carry out his dream, he received the support of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York and the Bureau of Jewish Education of Los Angeles.
Six years earlier, BCI was founded by Dr. Shlomo Bardin to safeguard against assimilation of young American Jews by making “the great ethical heritage of Judaism” relevant to them. Brandeis Camp Institute was named to honor our nation’s first Jewish Supreme Court Justice, Louis D. Brandeis, who was instrumental as the visionary and primary funder of Dr. Bardin’s initial programmatic endeavor. BBI was located for brief periods of time in Amherst, NH, Winterdale, PA and Hendersonville, NC before finding its home in 1947 in Simi Valley.
For more information, please see our history page at the following link: http://aboutus.aju.edu/default.aspx?id=4742.
The Bel and Jack M. Ostrow Academic Library at American Jewish University is designed to meet the needs of the University's faculty and students, as well as scholars conducting research in all fields of Jewish culture and civilization. Members of the general public are also invited to use the Library’s materials for personal enrichment and enjoyment. With approximately 110,000 print volumes, the library's collections have grown consistently through endowments, gifts of major private collections and an ongoing acquisition program. Its holdings include collections in Bible, Business Administration, Education, Hebrew and English Literature, Israel and Zionism, Jewish History and Archaeology, the Middle East, Philosophy, Rabbinics, Social Science, Theology, and Yiddish. The Rare Book Collection includes the Maslan Bible Collection of approximately 4,000 Bibles from as early as the 16th century and the Kahlman-Friedmann Collection of Italian Judaica. The Milken Liberal Arts Collection is comprised of acquisitions in the arts and humanities. We also have a large collection of Jewish-themed books and VHS tapes formerly housed at the Jewish Community Library of Los Angeles as well as a growing collection of DVDs and CDs. The Gindi Microfilm Collection contains manuscript collections from the Jewish Theological Seminary and several Jewish and Israeli newspapers from the turn of the 20th century.
The American Jewish University Archive
is a collection of documents, pamphlets, letters, publications, photographs, scrapbooks, and ephemera that document the history of the University of Judaism and the Brandeis-Bardin Institute which merged to become American Jewish University in 2007, depicting people, places and events at both campuses. Collections include the American Jewish University Los Angeles photograph archive
; the Louis Shub Documentation Center
Ostrow Library, American Jewish University
15600 Mulholland Drive
Bel Air, CA 90077
Telephone: (310) 440-1518
Special Collections: JBenEfraim@aju.edu